How to Cite a CC Image

Using and properly citing Creative Commons images is a characteristic of good digital citizenship. To cite a CC image…

  1. First find a picture you want to use that has a CC license. My favorite license to use is CC BY (Attribution) license, which allows for the most freedom. Search for CC BY images here on Flickr. (If you use other CC licenses*, be sure you understand the limits of each.)
  2. Credit the person who took the photo. I use both the real name and the username when available.
  3. Help your viewers get back to the original image. Take care so your viewers can find the original image without trouble. Make sure your links are working and go directly to the intended image. Notice on the two images below, both the picture and the title are linked back to the original photo on Flickr.

It really is simple.

Bubbles” by Kris McGuire (krismc2011) with CC BY-SA 2.0 license.
Daunting Notebook”  by Laura Coughlin (lauracoughlin) with CC-BY-NC 2.0

That’s just one way to do it. There are other ways too, as long as you follow the licensing agreement.

Thanks to Kris and Laura for sharing their images with a CC license!

Creative Commons is great. However, don’t forget that sometimes, it’s also great to take and use your own photos.

* Other Licenses

CC BY-ND 3.0 – Attribution and no derivatives

CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 – Attribution, non-commercial and share alike

CC BY-SA 3.0 – Attribution and share alike

CC BY-NC 3.0 – Attribution and non-commercial

CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 – Attribution, non-commercial and no derivatives


6 thoughts on “How to Cite a CC Image

  1. Thank you for using my image. I had forgotten it. It’s a timely reminder, too. My 3rd semester just started. Time flies.

    1. Laura, that did go fast! You will be done before you know it! Enjoy.

      I liked your notebook photo! Such a great closeup.

  2. I love that you used my image. Thanks!! Also great explanation about the different licenses. I’m going to use your post to help teach my students about various licenses. When I told my 8th graders that they couldn’t use Google images because most are copyright protected, they were shocked. Kind of scary…wondering what they have been doing. Probably should ask. Thanks again.

    1. Kris,
      You are welcome. Thanks for sharing your images. Hopefully your students will see, through your example, the benefit of contributing and the conversation and connections that happen when you share your own images. I think that’s so much more powerful than pointing out the error of republishing Google images. Have fun!

  3. I was so excited when I saw my photo on your blog, and I’m a fairly dramatic person, so I’m sure my enthusiasm will show when we talk about contributing and connecting. I try to focus on the positive and won’t even talk about what they did in the past. It’s new year…new learnings, right?

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